The birth of their baby girl has filled Rina Lazarus and her husband, LAPD Homicide Detective Peter Decker, with joy mingled with sorrow, since complications have ensured that they can have no more children. But the situation is grim at the hospital, which has been devastated by severe budget cutbacks and staff shortages. And when a respected nurse vanishes along with a newborn from the nursery, Peter and Rina fear for the safety of their own precious child—especially when the missing nurse's car is found at the bottom of a cliff . . . with a corpse inside. A most grievous sin has been committed. In pursuit of justice, Decker—with the help of his tough-as-nails partner, Marge, and an able assist from his teenage daughter, Cindy—follows a twisted path that winds through a sinister maze of hospital politics, misplaced passions, and torturous mind games that can all too easily lead to murder.